Having the characteristics of a strong Godly father who loves is not something that comes naturally to any man. It is a work of God in the heart of a repenting believer.
These characteristics are fashioned and shaped by God as a father draws closer to God. Through this process of drawing closer, the man will develop these 7 Characteristics of a strong Godly father. These characteristics will be evident in his life:
- He Loves God
- He Cares Deeply For His Wife
- He Loves The Children Entrusted To Him
- He Has A Servant’s Heart
- He Is Teachable
- His Life Is Full Of Fruit
- He Has Integrity
A ship in the harbor must know its destination before it can leave port, and so does the father who desires to possess Godly character.
In Matthew 11:28-30, our Lord Jesus Christ tells us that we must come to Him and learn from Him. He also says it’s an easy yoke. It’s only through a relationship with Christ that we as fathers can live out lives that honor and please Him. It’s only through faith in God and drawing closer to Him every day that we can possess these Godly characteristics.
So, before we go through this list of characteristics, make a commitment to yourself, to your family, and to God right now to devote a portion of time every day to seek God in both Bible reading and prayer.
Through seeking God we will become the godly men He desires for us to be in life and in our families.
1. He Loves God
Loving God is more than just attending church on Sunday morning. It has to invade every portion of a father’s life. Our work, our relationships, and our entertainment. It’s all-encompassing and consuming.
The passage here isn’t speaking about the actual heart muscle but instead talking about the inner man. The “what makes us tick” element that we all possess.
God’s command here is to hand over our whole hearts. He doesn’t just want a portion, He wants us to love Him with all of ourselves.
It doesn’t matter if we’re watching a football game, communicating with a co-worker, or leading our family in a Bible study. God wants every part of our lives, and every ounce of strength devoted to loving Him fully.
How do we do it? By keeping God front and center in our minds as we make decisions in life. The way we speak, the way we think, the way we operate as a father and person have to come from a place of keeping God at the center.
The character of a strong Godly father starts with a man who has a heart fully committed to God. He trusts God completely. Every day we make a decision to do life God’s way or to do life man’s way.
2. He Cares Deeply For His Wife
Caring for our wives can be one of the most challenging tasks we will experience in our lives as fathers.
They (wives) often think and operate so differently than us guys.
For example, we (our wives and us) can experience the exact same situation in our home and yet be miles apart in our understanding of what just went on. We can be totally fine, while they’re struggling and crying. This can be frustrating even for even the most patient of men.
This difference that exists between us and our wives is either the most painful thing in our life or it’s the greatest blessing. God designed it to be a blessing and an example to our children.
God gives us marriage as a gift, it was His design, and everything God creates is good.
The way we handle difficulties in our marriage and how we treat our wives is not just about the wife and husband. It involves not only God but our children as well. Let’s face it, children are like little sponges. Listening, watching, and learning from Dad how to handle everything in life.
A godly character can be developed through the good and bad experiences we encounter with our wives. It’s up to us men to allow God to use it to teach us something valuable or to ignore it, hoping it goes away on its own.
Called To Love
This passage in Ephesians brought so much direction to me in my marriage.
Sure, I went to church, read my Bible, and prayed, but things were tough with my wife. Honestly, I didn’t know how to fix it and I was obsessed with trying to make things work right. It wasn’t until I read this passage and really let the Lord speak to me through it that I started to understand more.
I figured something out profound… my wife isn’t perfect.
I know, seems like a duh thing, but it was a big deal to me!
Our spouses will never be perfect and neither will we! Some of you need to hear that right now.
This passage in Ephesians 5 tells us to love our wives like Christ loved the church. He loved and loves the Church despite the mistakes made along the way. He’s continuously cleansing the church with the Word and presenting Himself with a glorious church, spotless and without blemish.
We need to do the same with our wives. Cleansing them with the Word and presenting ourselves with a glorious bride, spotless and blameless. Because she is perfect for us and is cleansed in the same blood of Jesus we are! We, as Christians, are spotless and we need to see Jesus when we see our spouses. We need to focus on that instead of their flaws.
Loving our wives like this is not difficult when we are loving God with all of our hearts. That’s why this is second on the list and not first.
When we have a focus on God, we will be equipped by God to love our wives the way He desires us to love them, the way He commands us to love them. This in turn will show our children what true love looks like, a model to see with their eyes and feel in their hearts when their home is ruled by peace instead of strife.
3. He Loves The Children Entrusted To Him
How does a strong Godly father show his love for the children entrusted into his care? By being their provider and protector. But there is more to providing than just food, shelter and clothing.
Let’s explore some areas fathers are responsible for when it comes to showing love to their children:
- An example of a Godly man
- Shown in the way he deals with pressure and problems
- Shown in his speech
- Shown in his work ethic
- Shown in his communication
- Shown in his love for their mother/step-mother
- Shown in his love for God
- Shown in his ability to forgive
- Shown in his patience
- Instruction & Discipline
- How to make good decisions
- How to deal with consequences
- Dealing with all types of people
- Owning responsibility for choices
- Taking turns
- Helping others
- Adulthood Preparedness
- How to live
- How to parent
- How to pick a spouse
- How to provide
- How to do housework
- Knowledge of the Scriptures
- Connecting all areas of life to the Bible
- Knowing Jesus is the only Salvation
- The coming judgment and accountability at the end of life
These might seem to be shared responsibilities, but the truth is it’s not a shared responsibility. The man is the head of the household (Ephesians 5:22-24) and will be held accountable at the judgment for what he did as well as what he did not do.
We live in a culture that has twisted the roles of what it means to be mother and father. In many homes, the mother is the spiritual leader and overall leader over the children, and even sometimes over the man. This is wrong according to God’s Word and is why we see many fathers playing a passive role in their family life.
All of this to say, there is a large weight of responsibility on the shoulders of the father. It’s our jobs as fathers to instruct and teach our children in the ways they should go.
Children are a gift from God and should be treated as such.
Loving our children on purpose requires intentionality every single day. It’s spending time in conversation, it’s teaching them the Word of God, it’s taking time and care to discipline and correct wrong behavior without being angry. It all takes time, but the investment is worth it.
4. He Has A Servant’s Heart
Servant leadership is the only example of leadership that Jesus left behind for us to follow as Christians (read about servant leadership in Matthew 26:14-39).
This truth comes front and center into our homes and lives as Christian fathers. If we desire to be strong godly fathers, we must possess the characteristic of a servant. A person who is laying down their own life for others, always.
No matter how busy we are in our lives, we have to learn to put others first, and that starts in the home. Our wives and our children need a servant leader. They need someone who sets their own feelings aside in our to take care of them.
It takes strength from the Lord to model this type of leadership. Ask God for help, and He will guide you.
Think about it. When someone is kind and always putting your interest above their own, when that person asks you to do something, do you find it easier to comply? Of course, you do. When we take care of other people’s hearts, they’ll be more likely to listen. This is helpful when in the role of a father in the home.
A similar thing happens with our relationship to God. The more we grow in our understanding of just how much He loves and cares for us and has done for us, the more we are apt to obey His commands laid out in Scripture for us dads.
5. He Is Teachable
I once heard that you can always learn something new from every person you meet. This can be applied and brought into the home. Our children and our wives can and do teach us if we listen.
Taking the approach of curiosity not only saves us from hostile interactions but allows us a moment to learn about the people closest to us. So many people are just waiting to talk, and hardly anybody is truly listening these days.
If we really want to reach the heart of another, we have to first show them we care. What better way can we do this but by allowing ourselves to learn from them? We must become the student, and let them teach us.
Being wise is more than just knowing, it’s holding a teachable spirit within us. What blocks us from this teachable spirit is pride.
When we think we are wise, we become fools. Our pride blocks us from the wisdom God has for us. In fact, His Word tells us that God resists the proud (1 Peter 5:5-6, James 4:6-7).
Humility only comes when we have a right view in our position to the Cross. Jesus paid it all, we owe Him everything, and without Him, we were on our way to Hell. Anything we have, including our faith and Salvation, is a free gift of God. Therefore, all we do have is His alone, and anyone He places in our lives is someone who can teach us more about ourselves, God, and the world around us. Romans 8:28 tells us that God works all things together for good, this includes the conversations we have with our children and spouses.
The strong godly father has a teachable spirit and holds within him a willingness to be taught by all people he encounters.
6. His Life Is Full Of Fruit
The father with Godly characteristics bears much fruit in his life. Not by his own efforts in works, but by the work the Holy Spirit in his life that comes by abiding in Jesus Christ.
First, let’s identify what fruit is. The physical fruit and the spiritual fruit are a lot alike.
- Made by God
- Reproduces itself
Notice in the passage quoted it’s not the “fruits” of the Spirit, but the “fruit” (singular). This is because it’s singular in the fact it’s the Holy Spirit of God working in and through us.
Taking a long look at this passage with an honest look at our lives will help us know where God is working in our lives and in our hearts. Don’t resist the honesty that comes to mind, but instead let God reveal the truth to you through His Word.
Also, please don’t let this list discourage you, but instead, encourage you to draw closer to Jesus and let Him teach your soul to submit to His ultimate authority in your life.
The type of love mentioned here is agape. This is an intentional love, the love we choose rather than a spontaneous decision. This love reaches beyond the love we have for family and those we like and extends outward to the hard-to-love types. It’s loving people we don’t like. An impossible feat without the aid of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The strong godly father is able to love the unlovable.
Not the joy of a great experience or time, but the joy of the Lord that remains even when life is at its darkest points. It’s not bound by mere circumstance but instead bound by the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. It kept Paul singing in prison (Acts 16:25) and it will keep the one abiding in Christ joyful when the storms of life blow ashore. The godly father is able to hold onto joy no matter the circumstance.
This sort of peace isn’t just the absence of a fight going on, but instead a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). It’s knowing that our lives and everything it entails, rests in the hands of God. The calmness in our souls is not because of the outward happenings, but instead, the inward work of the Holy Spirit. The godly father is at peace at all times.
We can be longsuffering when the Holy Spirit is working inside of us, providing us sustained love, joy, and peace. Even if the circumstances are not ideal in our lives, even if things are annoying, we continue on in the faith, knowing and trusting God is in control. Strong godly fathers are patient, enduring through the ups and downs.
Kindness & Goodness
The godly father maintains kindness and goodness in his character, not by his own strength, but by the strength of the Holy Spirit working in and through him towards all people he encounters. This doesn’t mean the godly father will not falter, but it does mean his life is overall marked by kindness and goodness.
A reliable man is a faithful man, not only to people but to God. He, through the work of the Holy Spirit, is the kind of person you can call in the middle of the night or at two o’clock in the afternoon and he’ll be there to help or arrange help. He is the father who is reliable, the one who will always show up.
The teachable spirit of a man produces gentleness. Through the power of the Holy Spirit in him, this father is gentle with all, not having a superiority towards others. He is never angry at the wrong times, but instead, angry when it is the right time. Balanced and controlled by His God, he is gentle.
Working through the man, the Holy Spirit controls him, giving birth to self-control in its purest form. This father is not self-controlled for his own gain, but the gain of others. He is always working with others in mind, always striving with God in his thoughts.
7. He Has Integrity
One definition of the word integrity is defined as, ‘the state of being complete or whole’ (Merriam Webster). While on this side of Heaven, no father will be complete or whole in the sense of perfection, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to do what is right.
As fathers, we have a responsibility to our wives and children to honor God with our choices and with our conduct. Our decision to walk in integrity will and does have an impact on our children.
The father’s children will be blessed by our decision as fathers to walk with integrity.
Our ability to have the characteristics of a strong godly father depend solely on our ability to abide in Christ. We must take an active approach to our faith, to our family, and to our lives every day. By the end of each day, we should be able to lift our hearts to God and pray the way the Psalmist prayed in 139.
Being a strong godly father is intentional and in a lot of ways, it goes far beyond when our children leave our homes. It’s a lifelong assignment that is either full of joy or heartache. It’s up to us to either do it in God’s way or man’s way.
Resources For Godly Fathers
Every Man’s Bible
This Bible not only looks and feels awesome, but is packed with thousands of notes on topics such as: work, sex, competition, and integrity. This is the kind of bible every Godly father needs in their life.
Every Man’s Battle
Fighting sexual temptation is a real struggle for men and this book tackles the hard subject with grace and encouragement. The growth of pornography and internet infidelity has men locked on an ongoing battle that is often fought alone. This book has helped millions of men break free from the bondage of sin and win the war against temptation.